A Lebanese Woman Reflects on Her Visit to Israel

April 1 2016

As a Lebanese-American whose father fled to Lebanon from Haifa in 1948, Carol Jahshan was at first uncertain of her decision to spend three months in Israel. Nevertheless, despite the efforts of friends and family to dissuade her, she went—and found much that was unexpected:

I am dark-haired and olive-skinned. Everyone who addressed me did so in Hebrew. When I responded with “Ani lo m’vinah ivrit” (I don’t understand Hebrew), I was met with surprise. Some Israelis told me, laughing, that I looked more Israeli than they did. Inevitably, the question “where are you from?” would come up. It turned out that I had no need to be anxious [about their reactions]. I let people know that I was from Lebanon and was met with smiles. I let people know that my father was born in Haifa in 1948 and that same year his family took him to Lebanon where he lived most of his life. More smiles and friendly curiosity. . . . I was invited into a variety of people’s homes for Shabbat dinners. This was not the reception I had expected at all. . . . Among the many complex feelings I felt in Israel, one of the most undeniable, surprising, and important was feeling absolutely welcomed. . . .

As [my family and I] drove through northern Israel, I realized how many Arabs live here, and that it would be possible for me to get along just fine in Israel speaking only Arabic. This was another surprise. In all of the conversations I had ever had or heard relating to the political situation surrounding Israel, the existence of Israeli Arabs was simply never acknowledged. All of a sudden, when listening to a Hizballah threat to bomb Haifa, I realized that threats like these are ultimately threats to my own family members and many other Arab people. . . . Another insight I did not have before spending time in Israel.

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Get unlimited access to Mosaic: Subscribe now

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories FREE.

Register Now

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Haifa, Hizballah, Israel & Zionism, Israeli Arabs, Lebanon, Palestinian refugees

 

Hamas’s Tactics of Attrition and Extortion Are Paying Off

Feb. 21 2020

In January, the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran after promising the Egyptian government that he would not. Cairo responded by cutting exports of cooking gas and tires to the Gaza Strip. Facing a possible domestic crisis, the terrorist group recently resumed sending balloon-borne explosives into Israel, and allowed other jihadists to fire rockets. The move succeeded, despite retaliatory strikes by the IDF, writes Elior Levy:

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Sign up to read more.

You've read all your free articles for this month. Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture and politics.

Register Now

Read more at Ynet

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Israeli Security